This is an English translation of " The Struggle of Iranian Kurds against National Atrocities" by Mehdi Sameé, for Second European Social Forum, 12th-15th November 2003 in Paris as well as the towns of St Denis , as well as Bobigny ( Seine-Saint-Denis) and Ivry (Val de Marne).
Group for preparation of the social forum of Iran
The Kurds, stateless people
Bobigny, 13 November 2003
The Struggle of Iranian Kurds against National Atrocities
by: Mehdi Sameé
Dear Comrades, Ladies and Gentlemen
As an Iranian who has been involved in movement of Kurdish people of the Iranian Kurdistan province.
First of all on behalf of the preparation committee of the Iran social forum I would like to honour the memory of thousands of Iranian Kurdish women and men whom lost their lives for the freedom, Justice and human rights in the past hundred year, and also those who are still suffering in jails and dungeons of a totalitarian regimes all over the world and still holding the flames of resistance, with the hope that one day the flowers freedom blooms for humanity.
Please let me present you with a brief background on the struggle of the Iranian Kurds.
1-A glance at History:
Kurds are one of the ancient people of the world, who settled in a land that a part of which makes Iran of today.
Kurds settlers formed the Median Empire in about 700 B.C.
At the beginning of the Islamic era, around 1400 years ago, Kurds were under tyranny of the Sassanide Kingdom, due to which when the Islamic Caliphs brought in their military forces Kurds received them with open arms.
About less then 500 years ago, in the CHALDERAN war that took place between the Ottoman Empire and the Iranian King, the Ottomans added a huge part of the Kurdistan to its Empire, and this situation continued till the first world war and the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
With the crash of the Ottoman Empire, the French and British Conquerors divided the lands which were under Ottoman’s dominance, and hence parts of Kurdistan were given to Iraq and Syria and a remarkable part of Kurdistan, where contains the largest number of Kurds population, remained under the new government of Turkey. Kurdistan of Iran has over 8 millions Kurds.
2-A brief history of the struggle of the Iranian Kurds against national atrocities:
After the first world war and expansion of the anatomy movement in all the countries which were under the colonial rule, Kurds also commenced a movement to gain their national and social rights in their residing countries; they used different methods of struggle with the slogan of “Autonomy Kurdistan and Democracy for Iran”.
This struggle found different dimensions by the final years of the second world war.
In 1942 Kazi Mohammad who was a progressive nationalist formed a political organization in Kurdistan of Iran called: “KOMELE. J.K”, and in 1945 the first congress of the organization voted for a name change to “Democratic Party of the Kurdistan of Iran” and they declared a plan based on the slogan of “ Autonomy Kurdistan and Democracy for Iran”.
In January 1946, the party supported by people of the northern parts of the Kurdistan of Iran and with considering the weaknesses of the central government after the world war acted on forming ( The Autonomous Republic of Kurdistan), and during a national gathering , Kazi Mohammad was elected the president of the Autonomous government.
On January 11/1946, A reporter asked Kazi Mohammad “ In Tehran it is being said that Kurds under your leadership want to separate from Iran and would like to form an Independent Kurdistan?”, He replied: “ Not at all, we want to see the constitution be implemented and would like to have autonomy within the Iranian Boarders”.
The important note here is the progressive ideas of a Kurdish leader, specially when he defends the women right to vote in the same interview.
The central government which was supported by the British Colonization and one of its main policies was based on national atrocity, did not recognize the Republic of Kurdistan and after a year, the republic dissolved itself and Kazi Mohammad and a group of his aids were executed by Shahs direct order; since then the struggle in Kurdistan went underground and at time in the form of arm struggle.
In 1953, CIA and British intelligence service planed a coup-d’etat , assisted by some Military Generals and groups of organized thugs that resulted in overthrowing the nationalist government of Dr. Mohammad Mosadeq .
By return of Mohammad Reza Shah to power, a wave of repression took the whole country and at the same time people of Kurdistan were faced grave suppression and hence the possibility of any form of peaceful political activity was vanished.
In 1967, a group of Kurdish youth stated an arm struggle against Shah’s atrocities in the mountains of the Kurdistan, this uprising also was crashed after a year and half by the shah’s army which was enjoying the support of the United States.
After that uprising until the crash of the Monarch regime and establishment of the clerical government of Ayatollah Khomeini named Islamic Republic of Iran, the struggle in Kurdistan continued strictly underground, or in the form of young Kurdish men and women who joined underground National organizations.
3- Repression of Kurds by the ruling religious dictatorship of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iranian Kurds along with every other Iranian ethnic group who resides in that country joined forces to take part in the fight against the Monarch regime who was a dependent poppet of Imperialism, which resulted in overthrowing the regime in 1979.
But the Islamic Republic Regime, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, started to supress the people of Kurdistan, as soon as they took the power.
After Shah’s regime was toppled the “ Democratic party of Kurdistan of Iran” opened it offices and in addition to the another regional party called “ The revolutionary Organisation of Kurdistan Of Iran”( KOMELE) and also the Kurdish version of the Trans-National organisations such as “People Fadaiies Guerrillas of Iran” commenced their open activities.
But unfortunately, on the first New Years day (Nu Rooz), following the revolution the people of Sanandaj (Capital City of the Kurdistan Province) were brutally attacked by the new regime’s forces.
On August 19/1979 Khomeini issued an order of Jihad (Holy War) against People of Kurdistan.
This picture is one of the many that shows mass executions imposed on Iranian Kurds by the so called supreme Judge the religious courts of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khalkhali.
The people of Kurdistan Resisted these in-human tyrannical attacks, and Ayatollah khomeini stepped back and agreed to meet a body of Kurds Representatives.
On December25/1979, the Kurd’s Representatives presented a plan to the central Government’s body and that plan was by Ayatollah Khomeini.
I In April 1980 based on khomeini’s direct order a huge attack was organised against Kurdistan of Iran and during four years constant attacks, several free areas which were safe heavens for political forces has been captured by the government’s forces.
Due to those intense attacks, thousands of civilians were killed and injured, the cities and villages with which resisted the most, were surrounded and destroyed.
The suppressive actions on the people of Kurdistan, took placed along with the widespread suppression all over Iran, during which time the Regime Executed over 10.0000 freedom loving young men and women belonging to all ethnic Iranian groups.
4-Terrors of Iranian dissidents outside the country:
The Iranian boarders were not the limit for the terrorists who been trained and fully supported by the regime, and the regime expanded its Terror squads abroad to kill the opposition leaders and activists.
Hundreds of Kurd activists and their leaders along with several other none-Kurd activists were brutally murdered all over the world.
On June13/ 1989, Dr.Abdolrahman Ghasemloo the president of the “Democratic Party of the Kurdistan of Iran” whom with tow other activists was seating on the negotiation table, discussing with representatives of the Islamic Republic regime , In Vienna ( Austria) , was shot dead.
The Austrian government sent back the terrorists to Iran without even interrogating them.
In Sepember 04/1989, Mr. Sadigh Kamangar, Lawyer and member of the central committee of the KOMELE was murdered by the regime’s terrorist agents, in the city of Ranie, in Kurdistan Of Iraq.
On September 17/1989, Dr. Sadegh Sharafkandi, The general secretary of the “Democratic Party of the Kurdistan of Iran” , along with 3 others was assassinated in a restaurant called MIKONOS, in Berlin, Germany.
The terrorists who committed this crime were arrested and after a long trail, the German Judges stated that: “ The Islamic Republic’s High authorities including the minister of Information (ALI FALAHIAN) were directly involved in this crime by ordering the assassinations.
This a only a sample of hundreds of terrorist acts that has been organised and ordered by the government of the Islamic Republic Regime, against the political refugees and opposition leaders.
Towards which the European Government choose the strategy of silence, by refusing to arrest and bring these criminals to justice with the excuses such as: National interest!
I wish to take this opportunity and on behalf of preparation Committee of the Iran Social Forum, would like to make a suggestion to the European Social forum to form a committee to investigate these terrors and report the outcome of their investigations to the next years Convention.
5-Perspectives and challenges
Iran is a multi cultural and multi national country, during the past century the Right of Autonomy has been always suppressed by the ruling regimes.
The imperialism had always taken a …… in regard to ethnic issues . Super powers choose a silence policy towards the Suppression of Kurds.
The most important political forces inside the Kurdistan of Iran has always defended the right for autonomy within Iranian borders, and in fact all the trans- national organizations also defended this issue.
These organisations in regard to national issues are suggesting a Federal System of the government, which only would take place in a democratic condition where all the concerned forces could discuss and decide about its form.
Right Now the resistance movement of the people of Iranian Kurdistan is interconnected to Iranians national resistance against the ruling clerical dictatorship, The Kurdistan’s political forces believe that until a democratic and laeic system is not stabilised in the country, the people of Kurdistan would not achieve their goals.
Mr. Abdulah Hassan Zadeh the general secretary of the “Democratic Party of the Kurdistan of Iran”, in an interview in response to a question about the nature of autonomy’s motto and difference between autonomy & federalism had said: “we were the party who talked about federalism and we are still supporting it”.
The most important issue at present time is lack of independent community organizations which can not be founded because of dictatorship.
The European Social forum and other international forums should put pressure on the Iranian regime and demand crating a democratic situation where people are able to decide their own system.
We should not let Islamic Republic and their imperialist friends with war and other excuses fool people and bring them misery and poverty.
The existence of community based organizations along with political parties in a democratic situation would open the way for a peaceful solution that would benefit all ethnic Iranians.
This would stop Imperialism and reactionary forces to interfere in people’s movement.
By putting pressure on Iranian Regime for democracy and recognition of people’s rights, on one hand, by pressuring European governments to force Iranian regime on human rights issue ….. , social forums could play a big role in peaceful resolution of ethnic problems in a democratic manner.